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Winter Is Coming: A Guide To Furnace Maintenance For Beginners

It’s a chilly winter night. You are enjoying a mugful of mulled cider, feeling warm and cozy in your blanket.

You have been planning all day to catch up on Netflix after work. As you finally get to it, tucked safely in your bed – it starts getting cold; colder than usual.

What might have gone wrong?

You guessed it right. It’s the furnace which is supposed to protect you from the dead of winter.

But, did you know your furnace also needs a periodical checkup? It’s fall already, and to prevent this unfortunate turn of events, you should check your furnace for gas leaks.

If you need help with furnace maintenance, sit back, relax, and read this guide that covers it all.

Conduct A Visual Check

Before calling a professional, you should conduct a visual check early in the fall.

It does not require expertise, and you can easily do it without any assistance. See if there are any loose connections within the furnace that may be causing the issue.

Furnace Maintenance For Beginners
Furnace Maintenance For Beginners

Apart from that, you should check for signs for a possible gas leak. You will be able to tell that by sniffing around the furnace. A gas leak smells like rotten eggs. In that case, it’s best to fix it right away.

If any of the above issues pop up in the preliminary investigation, getting a second opinion should be your next step.

Clean the Filter

Are you noticing a reduced air quality lately? If yes, then the culprit is none other than the air filter. Consider it the heart and soul of your furnace without which it cannot survive for long.

A dirt-clogged filter is bad, not just for the furnace, but also for your health!

Subpar air quality can cause allergies and airborne illnesses. Besides, you should be more careful if you have kids and pets around as they are more susceptible to these health conditions.

A great advantage of routinely cleaning and changing the filter is truncated energy costs. Even with a subscription to Direct Energy, a dusty filter can increase your electricity bills.

In contrast, a furnace with a dirt-free filter draws less power, thereby reducing your overall energy consumption.

How Often Should You Clean?

Make sure you check the air filter every month and replace it every three months, preferably. Use a light brush to remove the dust and dirt which accumulate inside the filter.

The good news is – these filters are quite inexpensive, making them easy to replace regularly.

Examine Your Thermostat

Examining your thermostat may seem like a pretty basic step, but it’s important. The thermostat plays a vital role in furnace maintenance by maintaining its efficiency and consistency.

Therefore, you must first check whether the calibration is accurate. If everything seems all right, you should check for open connections and loose wires.

Furthermore, inspect the circuit breaker to see if there is a blown fuse. In the case of a digital thermometer, the battery may need replacement.

Remember, if you don’t feel too comfortable doing any of that, especially fixing the wires, don’t hesitate to contact a technician.

Inspect The Chimney

The buildup of carbon inside a chimney is a common phenomenon. Also, don’t be surprised to see small animals making it their home.

The former scenario is, however, dangerous for you and your family. It can lead to the occasional release of carbon monoxide, also known as the “silent killer”.

Hence, it is imperative that you test carbon monoxide detectors and check their batteries on a regular basis. Most alarms need to be changed every 5 years.

Lubricate The Motor

First things first – does your motor need lubricating? If you are unsure, it’s best to refer to the owner’s manual.

If the answer is affirmative, you would be required to remove the bearings in order to lubricate them. Don’t forget to clean the caps that are used to shield the bearings in a furnace.

Besides, make sure you switch off the power supply before doing that.

Monitor The Valve

This step is necessary if you have a gas furnace instead of an electric one.

The manufacturers include a control valve in a gas furnace to ensure your safety. You must thus check the supply line where it is located to see if it’s on.

If for some reason, the gas is unable to flow into the furnace, then the valve is likely faulty. No gas, no heat – simple as that!

Electric Vs. Gas Furnace

You may want to buy a new furnace altogether, but might be confused about which kind to choose. In that case, you should consider certain factors before making a decision.

Furnace Maintenance For Beginners
Furnace Maintenance For Beginners

Electric and gas furnaces differ in terms of initial costs, operating costs, and maintenance requirements. Besides, you should consider the furnace’s size – it should be large enough to heat your entire home.

Therefore, you can weigh your options based on the differences between the two. Let’s take a look at the key differences.

Which Is Better?

Since gas furnaces are more heat-efficient compared to their electric counterparts, they are suitable for colder climates.

However, they are expensive and noisier. They require frequent professional maintenance, not to mention the carbon monoxide safety issues they can cause.

On the other hand, electric furnaces are pocket-friendly and easier to maintain. Since they are less heat efficient, they are more suitable for warmer climates.

Besides, electric furnaces are safer and quieter, thereby adding to your peace and comfort. Compared to gas furnaces, they don’t need frequent maintenance and are more durable.

If you are worried about increased electricity bills, however, pick power suppliers like Genie Energy that offer many cost-effective energy plans for you.

The Bottom Line

If you want to enjoy your mulled cider or hot cocoa in a warm home and a cozy blanket, maintaining the furnace is a must.

Blower motor for furnace and filter are some of the parts that you can monitor and maintain yourself. For other components, you can contact a technician at your convenience.

Throwing on multiple blankets won’t help in the winter season. Therefore, get your home winter-ready by following the above steps and avoid any unfavorable situation.

Stay warm!

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One comment

  1. Just visited your website for the first time, it’s quite helpful.